Full Practice Authority For NPs Across the USA

April 28, 2022   |   Healthcare Professional

Nurse Practitioners across the United States play an integral role in the healthcare industry. As their scope of work has changed since the inception of the profession in the 1960s, NPs have demonstrated their capabilities to practice without a supervising physician. After years of advocacy and proven studies, NPs are being heard. As of August 2021, several states across the U.S. began adopting Full Practice Authority, allowing NPs to prescribe, diagnose, and treat patients without physician oversight. The advocacy and legislation continues, expanding access to medical care and reducing the number of states with Restricted Practice and Reduced Practice status.

The three types of practice regulations for NPs are:


  • Full Practice Authority: State practice and licensure laws permit all NPs to prescribe, diagnose, and treat patients without physician oversight. NPs may fully evaluate and diagnose patients, order and interpret tests and screenings, initiate and manage treatments, prescribe medications, and operate independent practices.
  • Reduced Practice: NPs can diagnose and treat patients but need physician oversight to prescribe medications and controlled substances.
  • Restricted Practice: NPs require physician oversight to diagnose, prescribe, and treat patients.


Status of Full Practice Authority By State


Full Practice Authority by State – Nurse Practitioners


Full-Practice Authority States

Reduced Authority States

Alaska Alabama
Arizona Arkansas
Colorado Illinois
Connecticut Indiana
Delaware Kentucky
District of Columbia Louisiana
Hawaii Mississippi
Idaho New Jersey
Iowa Ohio
Kansas Pennsylvania
Maine Utah
Maryland West Virginia
Massachusetts Wisconsin

Restricted Authority States

Nevada California
New Hampshire Florida
New Mexico Georgia
New York Michigan
North Dakota Missouri
Oregon North Carolina
Rhode Island Oklahoma
South Dakota South Carolina
Vermont Tennessee
Washington Texas
Wyoming Virginia


So What Does This Mean for Nurse Practitioners and Their Professional Liability Policy?


It is incredibly important that NPs review their malpractice/professional liability policy every year before renewing. Making sure you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances will protect you, your career, your license and your assets. Keep in mind that some professional liability insurance companies may not cover your full scope of practice as legislation changes in your filing state, and scope of practice guidelines vary by state. We encourage you to ensure that your policy covers you wherever you go (from clinic to clinic, patient to patient, moonlighting, etc.) and no matter what your SOP within your filing state is.



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